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Damp Control

Dampness in properties is an age old issue often over-complicated, over-analysed and misdiagnosed by those involved in its remedy.

Simply stated there are 3 main causes of damp – Condensation, Rising Damp and Rain Penetration (penetrating damp). It can be the case that there are more than one of these affecting the property at any one time.

PPS specialises in the inspection of buildings to pinpoint the exact causes of any inherent damp. Once the causes are established PPS will recommend a clear plan of remedial action to alleviate the damp and the detrimental effects it has on your property

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Types of Damp

There are 3 main causes of damp – Rain Penetration (penetrating damp), Rising Damp and Condensation. It can be the case that more than one of these are affecting a property at any one time.

Condensation

Condensation in our experience is probably the most common form of dampness in a property and can lead to physical damage to the interior and mould growth leading to unhealthy living conditions. It is caused by water vapour within a building and results in problems when combined with poor ventilation. Common sources may include cooking, bathing, dishwashing, drying clothes on radiators etc., hence it is often referred to as a lifestyle condition.

Rising Damp

Rising Damp is the term applied to the physical, slow upward movement of moisture from ground level (or below) through a wall. It is caused by capillary action (the same as witnessed when a piece of paper is placed vertically into water and the water soaks up the paper).

Flaking paint, peeling wallpaper, a “musty” odour, and timber decay are among the most common symptoms of rising damp. Failure to treat rising damp properly can result in a house that is unpleasant to live in and difficult to sell.

Rain Penetration

As the name suggests this is where rain water (often driven by wind) can enter the fabric of a property causing interior damp. Penetrating damp is very common in the UK where wet and windy weather conditions are common.

Protective Decorative Coating

PPS Coating Systems can help stop penetrating damp entering your home.

Rain Penetration

Penetrating damp can result where…

  • Exterior walls are porous or not effectively coated
  • Cracks have appeared in the external render or pebbledash
  • Pointing is missing between bricks, stone or blockwork
  • Windows or doors are poorly fitted or inadequately sealed to walls
  • Rainwater goods are blocked, leaking or poorly fitted
  • Lead flashing is not correctly fitted
  • Damage or excessive wear has occurred to felt at roof edge and rainwater has entered.

Typical treatments for penetrating damp are:

  • Wall repair and application of a protective coating to prevent water ingress, including crack repair and re-rendering where necessary
  • Application of clear water repellent coatings to bare brickwork or stone
  • Fitting new rainwater goods (gutters, downpipes etc.)

PPS Clear Coating is ideal where the natural character of bare stone or brick needs to be maintained.

Benefits of PPS Clear Coating:

  • Creates a colourless, breathable, highly water repellent barrier
  • Stops penetrating damp in stone, bare brick and cement based wall finishes
  • Penetrates deeply in to masonry before curing
  • Reduces heat loss through single-skin constructions
  • Improves the thermal efficiency of masonry by keeping it dry (energy saving)
  • Scientifically proven to provide heating energy savings of up to 29%
  • Will protect walls for 20-30 years
  • UV resistant.

Following a PPS visit we will pinpoint any areas of concern and explain our recommendations to remedy the problems.

Damp Walls

Rising Damp

Rising Damp is the term applied to the physical, slow upward movement of moisture from ground level (or below) through a wall. It is caused by capillary action (the same as witnessed when a piece of paper is placed vertically into water and the water soaks up the paper).

Rising Damp

Typically speaking rising damp is not observed more than 1.5 meters above ground level. Like other forms of damp it is often mis-diagnosed or confused with other damp forms a member of PPS team will visit your property to analyse the obvious and not so obvious characteristics of your damp and advice on the best remedial action.

Rising damp generally occurs where there is no physical or chemical damp proof course, the damp proof course has broken down or it has been ‘bridged’.

Where PPS diagnoses Rising Damp we will install a damp proof course using the patented Dryzone system (BBA approved)

Dryzone is a special damp-proofing cream that is introduced along the mortar course at regular intervals by injecting it into pre-drilled holes. The Dryzone then diffuses before curing to form a continuous water-repellent barrier. This prevents the damp from rising up the wall. Since the 1950s, liquid chemical injection systems, which work in a similar way have been used to treat rising damp with a high degree of success.

This system is fast, clean and effective and can be used on brick or stone walls of any thickness.

Following a PPS visit we will pinpoint any areas of concern and explain our recommendations to remedy the problems.

Condensation

Condensation is caused by water vapour within a building and results in problems when combined with poor ventilation. Common sources may include cooking, bathing, dishwashers, drying clothes on radiators etc., hence it is often referred to as a lifestyle condition.

Moisture in the air (water vapour) comes in to contact with cold surfaces and condenses and can then lead to dampness causing mould growth and damp patches on walls. Buildings with poorly insulated walls are very prone to this problem. It often causes damage similar to penetrating or rising damp in a building and often appears in similar places hence the frequent mis-diagnosis.

In the United Kingdom, condensation problems are particularly common between October and March as this is the period when external walls are at their coldest and homeowners close up all windows and other would be sources of ventilation- to the extent that this period is often referred to as the “condensation season.”

Condensation Prevention

In many cases a change of day to day activities can help reduce condensation, not drying clothes on radiators, using a drying area that is well ventilated, closing bathroom or kitchen doors when bathing or cooking (whilst providing adequate ventilation from these rooms to the outside) and just opening windows as much as possible to allow natural airflow through and around the property. The application of so-called ‘anti-condensation paints’, whilst helping reduce the more obvious signs of condensation e.g. mould, does not actually remove the dampness from the property.

In cases where condensation is more severe alternative physical measures may be required. PPS recommend the installation of Passyfier Vents in to the walls of rooms where condensation occurs. The vent comprises a telescopic sleeve that is fitted through the wall with louvres internally and an appropriate external cover and is filled with a mineral wool which prevents drafts but deals effectively with any moisture vapour which would otherwise cause condensation. PPS often retro-fit these to properties where airbricks were previously used and the vent well exceeds all the stipulations for background ventilation of habitable room as prescribed by current Building Regulations.

Whilst passive ventilation is effective in preventing condensation in the majority of rooms in a home, where the production of water vapour (steam) over a short period of time is copious e.g. bathrooms or kitchens, we would always recommend the installation of mechanical, electrically driven extraction units.

Following a PPS visit we will pinpoint any areas of concern and explain our recommendations to remedy the problems.

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UK: 0800 0830 947 ALGARVE: +351-282101532 / +351-939630057
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